Government on board with Winter Games

Economic Development Sport and Recreation

The future of the Winter Games events in New Zealand over the next five years has been secured with new Government investment.

The Government is backing the competition through support from the Major Events Fund, a special fund to keep high profile events in New Zealand because of their long-term economic, social and cultural benefits, Grant Robertson said.

“The Winter Games NZ are an international snow sports event designed to bring international athletes here during the Northern Hemisphere offseason.

“The competition in Central Otago aligns strongly with Sport NZ and High-Performance Sport NZ strategies and is critical to our campaign planning and preparation for the Winter Olympics.

“The Winter Games also help ensure Kiwi snow sport athletes can compete in a significant competition in front of a home audience, which supports the athletes and inspires future talent.

“The Winter Games are a unique element of the sports landscape and significant in the development of aspirational and elite athletes. I am proud that organisers and athletes can now look forward to a great competition,” Grant Robertson said.

Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said the Government will contribute up to $6 million from the Major Events Fund to support the Winter Games between 2023 and 2027, providing long-term confidence to organisers and commercial partners.

“Proudly Kiwi, the Winter Games NZ is a homegrown event. It offers elite international sports competition across New Zealand’s Southern Lakes District in the northern hemisphere’s summer,” Barbara Edmonds said.

"Winter Games NZ attracts between 500 and 600 athletes and generates an influential international following. It will support the region’s post-COVID-19 recovery and generate a number of new economic and social and cultural opportunities.

“The event organisers work with local businesses and Chambers of Commerce to promote economic opportunities and sponsorship activities. There are also strong tourism and travel promotion opportunities from North Island and Australian markets, and the Winter Games promote extended travel and visits for tourists.

“The event was first held in 2009 and has grown to become the largest annual snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere. We look forward to working with event organisers to maximise the benefits for Kiwis,” Barbara Edmonds said.

The 2023 event will run from 25 August to 16 September and includes Freeski, Snowboard, Alpine Ski racing and Freeride events. Further events and a full schedule are expected to be confirmed soon.

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